Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Solaris--a review

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Solaris, yes, I watched it at the New Beverly last night; it's long, and yes, it feels long too, especially when your date is snoozing beside you as soon as it starts, and a septuagenarian's slumped over peacefully catching Zzz's diagonally in the row in front. 

That aside, I enjoyed the opening scene of water rushing over flora immensely. It was calm. The movie kept that calm movement throughout with sporadic moments of higher drama. 

A psychologist is sent to a space station on an untamed planet bubbling with a mysterious Being of ooze. The ooze surrounds the cosmonauts, studying their minds and habits reciprocating the fact that it's being studied by them. The ooze materializes vibrant memories of lost love as clones to study the cosmonauts closer, to make them vulnerable, so the clones won't be harmed. 

The psychologist's wife who committed suicide a decade ago comes back to life, dependent on the psychologist's companionship to exist as more than mere manifest. As time elapses, the wife clone adapts as a progressive, regenerative Being and takes on deeper characteristics of the woman for whom she was made as a likeness: quarreling with her husband over petty matters, doubting his love, and suicidal all over again as the film descends into some semblance of conclusion. 

Out of the context of 1976, when the movie was released, I can't even begin to fathom the depth of its effect on people with its premise being so oblique. Scrutinizing every moment in scenes, it was a challenging to stay on track without effort--as if trying to connect a puzzle coming together of an image unfamiliar. Though, there are enough moments, which stick to a mind invested in the premise, to make Solaris a memorable film. 
 
Cons & pros: the directing had some style, the sounds worked well for thrill, the editing needed a lot of work, and the lead had no charisma. I also want a few caged birds now, to place by a window. I don't know if that's good or bad. And upon waking from vivid dreams of people I once loved, I now check the room for specters in the flesh...
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